Who is on Question Time tonight and where do they stand on Brexit? Here’s your guide…
The BBC’s flagship current affairs programme tonight comes from Southampton, the Hampshire city whose football club once fielded a player who tricked them into thinking he was George Weah’s cousin. But which of tonight’s panel have hoodwinked the producers and will quickly prove themselves wildly out of their depth? Here’s who’s on the panel and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Crime minister
Where is she on Brexit? Remain backer who said staying in the EU would mean “more jobs, lower prices and greater security”. Now thinks leaving is a tip-top idea
A little-known minister who only entered Parliament four years ago, Atkins was an ardent Remain backer who says she accepts “I was on the losing side of the argument”. Now says: “I acknowledge the concerns of some constituents in relation to the prorogation of Parliament but the overriding objective of this government must be to deliver what a majority of my constituents have voted for, namely to leave the EU.” Made headlines last year when she confessed she didn’t know how many police officers there are in the country, saying: “It’s um, um, I’m not going to hazard a guess.” The daughter of former Tory MP Sir Robert Atkins, the plummy minister is a relative centrist seen as a safe if soporific media performer by spin doctors. Possibly the single only interesting thing about her is she once told Parliament she owned a cat called Gaston the Turbo Snail.
Who? Labour peer
Where is he on Brexit? Remain backer who has said he accepts the result of the referendum
A former flatmate of Tony Blair’s who served as his Lord Chancellor in government, Falconer acted as shadow justice secretary under Jeremy Corbyn until quitting along with most of his colleagues following his leader’s lacklustre anti-Brexit campaign. Said earlier this year that Remainers should stop blaming people who voted to leave the EU, saying: “It’s not the people who vote for Farage who are in the wrong, it is the fact that the situation allows Farage to sneer at us so effectively.” Ennobled by Blair in 1997, he was charged by Corbyn with overseeing Labour’s complaints procedures following the scandal over anti-semitic abuse. Lost five stone of weight in 2014 by adopting a diet of eating nothing but apples and drinking eight or nine cans of Coke a day, a dramatic loss which caused fellow peers to assume he was, like much of the Lords, at death’s door.
Who? Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats
Where is he on Brexit? The Lib Dems don’t like it
Defeated candidate for leadership of the Lib Dems, a party showing there is no appetite for the political centre anymore by beating Corbyn’s Labour into third place in the polls, Davey served as energy and climate change secretary in the coalition. Supporting the party’s new position of cancelling Brexit on day one if they formed a majority government, said: “If we just said in the general election: ‘Well, we will have a referendum,’ that would be asking people to vote twice. It would be asking for this to go on for so long, and people are fed up.” Was attacked for telling his party’s conference last weekend that many Leave voters “didn’t really care” about leaving the EU. Speaks French, German and Spanish – the sort of thing to make the heads of some audience members even more puce than usual. Doesn’t even have a cat with a funny name.
Who? Journalist with Novara Media and political activist
Where is she on Brexit? Would “rather remain” but “that horizon is fraff without addressing the crisis in which we live – blossoming household debt, falling wages, half of young mums skipping meals to feed their kids”
A senior editor at Novara Media, the alternative media site which takes on the biased, kowtowing MSM by preaching the gospel of Jeremy Corbyn, a man of unique virtue unparalleled in human history. Like her colleague Aaron Bastani, Sarkar calls for something called “luxury communism” and last year told Good Morning Britain she was “literally a communist”, much to the bemusement of viewers who had no idea what she was talking about and had only tuned in as Lorraine was interviewing Jack and Dani from Love Island in a bit. Like Owen Jones, another proponent of the exciting transformation of journalism from the production and distribution of reports on recent events to shouting at people on Twitter. Defended the defacement of a Warsaw Ghetto wall site with anti-Israel graffiti, defending herself by saying “I’ve done anti-racist politics all my life”.
Who? Daily Telegraph associate editor
Where is she on Brexit? Hardline Brexiteer. Says “the public voted for Brexit” a lot
Former Sunday Express political editor who decamped to the Telegraph in 2018 to take up the position of Associate Editor (Politics and Royals). Detail-light but rhetoric-high, says that the public “did know what they were voting for, because they haven’t changed their mind”. Claimed to have been proved right on Brexit in 2017 when she visited the EU’s seats of power in Brussels apparently for the first time and found it hard to get around: “I must have covered several miles (in wedges), searching in vain for the Council building where President Donald Tusk was lunching the so-called EU27 in Britain’s absence (where’s a truffle hog when you need one?).” One of the triumvirate of posh right-wing female journalists, along with Julia Hartley-Brewer and Isabel Oakeshott, who are reserved a weekly seat on QT.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight (11.15pm in Northern Ireland)